During the Surgery1

No anesthesia removes all pain - used with permission Saturday Evening Post

No anesthesia removes all pain. Used with permission, Saturday Evening Post.

  1. His foreskin is gripped with two hemostats (needle-nosed pliers) and a blunt object is forced between his foreskin and glans, tearing the connective tissue. This is very painful and is comparable to having a blunt object shoved under a fingernail.
  2. Once separated, a hemostat is used to crush his foreskin lengthwise in order to reduce bleeding. Next, the foreskin is sliced lengthwise through the crushed tissue to allow space to insert the circumcision device. Both of these steps are painful.
  3. His foreskin is clamped by the circumcision device. This is very painful and is comparable to having your thumb clamped in a vise.
  4. His foreskin is sliced off. This is somewhat less painful than the preceding two steps.
  5. His reactions to the pain and trauma vary, but include screaming, thrashing, vomiting, hyperventilating, urinating, and defecating. He might pass out. Some witnesses have observed that a baby might become quiet while being circumcised. This is evidence that his mind has dissociated (shut down) to escape the pain.

NEXT: What happens after the circumcision

This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.

  1. HealthWise Medical Reference, Available online at: http://children.webmd.com/tc/circumcision-what-happens-during-a-circumcision Last Updated: February 19, 2008.